Tele-Conferencing Puts Distant Sign Language Interpreters In
February 25, 2004
PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA--A Pittsburgh company is putting American Sign Language interpreters in hospitals -- one video screen at a time.
Deaf-Talk LLC started four years ago with the idea of helping hospital staffs communicate better and more quickly with patients that are deaf or hard of hearing.
Hospitals in the United States are required to provide interpreters under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
But waiting for one to arrive can cost valuable time when an emergency room doctor needs to get critical information from a patient.
Deaf-Talk allows hospitals to link up almost immediately to certified interpreters through video tele-conferencing -- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
"Every family is anxious and concerned when they're in the ER, but it's especially frustrating when a parent can't communicate with the staff," said Karen Christman, whose Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is one of 150 hospitals nation-wide that uses Deaf-Talk's services.
"When you see how the parents' discomfort and anxiety are lifted, you realize the service is worth it."
"Hospitals, Deaf Connect With Video Phones" (Associated Press via Yahoo! News)
Deaf-Talk: Audio Visual Interpreting Service On Demand